Decluttering for a Simpler Christmas: Toys | From Overwhelmed to Organized: Decluttering for a Simpler Christmas: Toys

Monday, December 23, 2013

Decluttering for a Simpler Christmas: Toys

Do you feel overwhelmed at Christmas with all the extra "stuff" in your home?

Before Christmas there are lots of holiday items taking over your home.  And after Christmas there are all the new gifts that need "homes".

One of the best ways to simplify Christmas is to declutter in the weeks leading up to it.  To help you do that, I've been doing a series of posts this month, sharing ideas to help you declutter your home for a simpler Christmas.  If you missed any of the posts there are links to all of them at the end of this post.  You can always catch up after Christmas if you want :)

Today I'm sharing tips to help you declutter toys.  It's so important to purge some of your kids' toys before the influx of new toys at Christmas.

I got my kids involved in decluttering again this week!  We went through their toy bins in the basement, which is where most of their toys are kept. 

Here's what their toy bins looked like before we started.


Yep... 2 sets of bins overflowing with toys.

I like these bins because they are open and the kids can see their toys.  I also don't like these bins because they are open and everyone else can see their toys!  But, my daughter is very visual, and having her toys out in the open encourages her to play with them more.  So for now, we're sticking with this system.

My son has a hard time decluttering and always says everything is special to him.  I've tried to help him understand that when everything is important, nothing is important.  But he has a hard time prioritizing what toys are more special than others, and just doesn't want to part with any of them.  So I got creative this time!

I asked the kids to pull out all their very favourite toys (about 5-10 each).  They had no problems deciding on those.  We called those #1 toys.  Then I asked them to make another pile of their next favourite toys.  We called them #2 toys.  Next we made a pile of #3 toys. 

{Sorry, I got so busy helping them make decisions that I forgot to take pictures of this stage!}

I also asked them to make a pile of any toys they wanted to give away or sell.  They did OK with this but once they prioritized their toys, I was able to help them purge a few more from the remaining toys in the bins and from their #3 piles.

This process also helped them see that I understand they have favourite toys and I'm not forcing them to get rid of any of them.  But it also helped them recognize that not all their toys are really favourites.  Hopefully these lessons will stick with them over time :)

My kids are funny about giving away toys... they like giving toys to their cousins because they know them and know that they will have fun with their old toys.  But they don't like donating toys or giving them away on Freecycle or even selling them, because they don't know who they will go to. I'm happy they aren't focused on making money selling their toys, but I'd like them to be willing to donate a little more to help them understand the importance of giving to those in need.  We'll keep working on that one too :)

Anyway, they did set aside some toys to give to their cousins.  They actually had fun thinking about who would like which toys and it's great to hear them say things like, "I think _____ would like to play with this!" or "I bet ____ I would love this!".

Once we'd decided which toys were being kept, we re-sorted them into categories.  Each category got a bin.

One set of bins is mainly my son's toys and the other is mainly my daughter's.   There's some overlap because they both play with some toys.  And in some cases there weren't enough toys to make it worth separating. 

We had grouped the toys in bins before, but many of the categories got mixed together over time.  This time I labeled the bins to help keep things organized.  My kids actually asked me to do this!  Melt my organizing heart :)  I guess my labeling in other parts of our house is making a difference.

With the bins on an angle, it's hard to put labels on the sides of the bins, so I used my label maker and clear tape to print labels on the edges.

They don't stand out too much from a distance, but are clear when the kids are putting the toys away.

The kids are very excited about the labels and how the toy bins turned out.  They can see the toys better now because they aren't buried underneath each other as much or mixed up like they were before.  They've played with them more in the last few days than in the last few months!

It didn't take very long to declutter and organize them either.

And now there's breathing room to make space for new toys they get for Christmas.  Not only that, they can easily put them away in their "homes"!  Makes this mama happy to know my house won't be overflowing with clutter next week :)

I'd planned to declutter the kids' books last week too but we stuck with just toys.  We'll tackle books later today since they're home for the holidays.

For specific tips on decluttering toys, check out my Decluttering Toys post from the 31 Days of Easy Decluttering series

If you missed any of the Christmas posts I've shared this month, here are links to all of them.

You can also find more Christmas organizing ideas on my Christmas Organizing board on Pinterest. 

And of course you can always find decluttering ideas on my Decluttering / Purging Tips & Ideas board on Pinterest.

Ready to purge some toys? {Or anything else that you want to declutter to simplify your Christmas!}  It's a great time to get the kids involved since they're home for the holidays and they're excited about all the toys they'll be getting for Christmas!  You can use that as motivation. 

What toys can you declutter before Christmas?  How do you declutter before the holidays?  I hope you are able to have a simpler Christmas by decluttering first!

Happy organizing!

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